24 May 2017

As a Muslim, Briton and Mancunian, I believe that defeating terror requires us to stay united

Nothing to do with Islam?

I am fed up to the back teeth with people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, pronouncing that such terrorist atrocities have nothing to do with the perpetrators’ religious views. See for example Mehdi Hasan: “How Islamic is Islamic State?” and Baroness Warsi’s recent book “The enemy within” and the linked extract “Can someone pass my terrorist spotting vision goggles?”

The perpetrators are Muslims. They tell us they are Muslims, they pray, they fast – etc. Whether they are experts or amateurs when it comes to Islam is irrelevant. Religious ignorance (such as the travellers to Syria who bought “Islam for Dummies”) is not proof that the individuals are not motivated by their understanding of Islam, however limited it may be.

No serious commentator has ever claimed that their religious beliefs are the sole motivators of violent Islamist extremists. The beliefs have to be allied with a cause, and often there is an association with identity crises or other personality problems. However, the religious beliefs really matter.

Assuming that he was a Muslim, it is crystal-clear that before the moment he detonated his bomb, Abedi knew that he was going to die and that he expected to go to heaven. While heroes often sacrifice their lives, I refuse to accept that any man who believes in God, heaven and hell would consciously choose to act in a way that would cause God to sentence him to hell for all eternity. [ConservativeHome] Read more